Ben has been a geek all of his life, so his expertise tends to fall into gaming and technology.
Sometimes leveling crew skills can be daunting when you’re just starting out. It can be hard to know exactly what materials you need and what you should craft. In this guide, I've gone through the work for you and figured out the best path to take to get you to your maximum potential.
The Sad Truth Is Level 1-49 Doesn't Matter
Let’s get this out of the way at the very beginning. While this is a leveling guide, Armormech doesn't really come into its own till you hit level 50. While it’s nice to make armor for yourself and for your alts, you’re likely taking Armormech thinking you’ll be able to make money off of it. The best way to make money off of this crew skill is by selling things that people want at max level. Augments, MK-6 Augment slots, and orange or level 50 gear will be your bread and butter.
Due to this, I’m going to recommend that instead of taking up Underworld Trading, you should pick up Slicing and Scavenging. While Underworld Trading materials are necessary for making level 50 gear, you also need to be level 50 to start making the pieces that people are actually looking for. Making augments and augment related items, however, can be done at any level as long as you have the materials. Orange gear does require Underworld Trading materials, but the time it takes to sell some of those items can be frustrating. The simple fact is that while some people might want orange gear, everyone needs augment related items making your potential audience nearly everyone. The extra cash from slicing nodes as you level is nice too.
Maximize Your Crew Skill
Is Armormech the best crew skill for your class? Check my Crew Skills guide to find out.
Green Is the Best Path to Take
No, I’m not talking about saving the earth here. Although it might be tempting to reverse engineer everything to learn a schematic, the amount of credits you’ll spend to get what you want will likely leave you broke. You should sell your items to a vendor to recover your spent credits, or if the metals themselves are worth more than the item, then reverse engineer the item and sell the metals on the GTN. The game is balanced for your gear to be slightly lower level then you are, and to be green. Blue gear will last you an extra 2-3 levels, and purple will last you an extra 4-5 levels. Do Heroic missions and Flashpoints and you won’t even have to worry about your own gear. Simply get your crew skill to the max to start making money and you can invest your profits back into the skill to flesh it out without feeling broke all the time.
Don't Start at Level 10
Wait till you get your ship before you start working on Crew Skills. Not only can you use your second companion to preform crew skills and get the materials you need, you can send both of your companions off to create items when your logging off for the night and come back the next day 20 points higher and no impact to your game play.
Your Shopping List
Due to the fact that we’re only building green level items to get your Armormech up to 400, you won’t need any Underworld Trading metals, but due to the fact that Medium and Heavy armor requires different amounts of metals to build, you will want to get an assortment of everything. As a general guide, you’re going to need around 80 of every metal and compound. Medium level armor generally require more compounds while Heavy tends to require more metals and at level 120 and 220 of Armormech you’re going to need a stack of 120 level 2 and level 4 metals or compounds, depending on your armor preference. I’ll detail specifics later on, but here’s your heads up.
Your Progression Comes at a Regular Pace
You’ll get access to new Armormech schematics every 20 points as you progress. Check your crew skills trainer for new things to build once you hit this milestone.
Level 1 Metals and Compounds
The first step in this leveling guide is to gather the metals you need. These are going to be Silica and Desh. Depending on what type of armor you prefer to build, you’re going to need either 60 of each, or 80 Desh and 40 Silica. Either way, your focus is going to be on belts first and gauntlets second. With the price of Desh as it is, you can buy it off the GTN, turn it into a belt, and sell it to a vendor while still making a profit. Not much of one, but still coming out ahead.
This will get you up to Armormech level 40, and once that occurs the schematics will start requiring Laminoid, Aluminium, and Conductive Flux. You’ll need 100 Conductive Flux as well as 60 and 40 of the other two base materials depending on whether you’re building Medium or Heavy armor. Although you’ll be forced to build chest pieces in the middle of the climb, you want to focus on the cheaper armguard and belt pieces that cost the least amount of materials.
Level 2 Metals and Compounds
Although we’re in a new requirement of metals and compounds, you’re still going to need that Conductive Flux you have left over. In addition to this, you’ll need either 40 or 60 of Plastoid or Bronzium depending on your armor type. This time the focus will be on belts and glove pieces till your Armormech is up to level 120.
Once here you’re going to need Plasteel and Chanlon in quantities of 120 and 80, as well as about 80 Insulating Flux. Although you’ll be required to build chest or leg pieces in the middle of this stretch, you’ll focus on boots and belts till you get Armormech up to level 180 and we start into the level 3 materials.
What Level Range Is This Material Good For?
Level ranges are dictated by their position on the pull down menu. For instance, level 3 metals are for the items that are made while a player is between level 25 and 32.
Level 3 Metals and Compounds
This level range contains the least variation of items within it. On the path to get Armormech up to 280, you’ll use nearly the rest of the Insulating Flux you've collected.
There is only Phobium and Lacqerous in the level 3 tier of required materials and you won’t need quite so many of them. You’ll need about 80 of your dominant material, and about 40 of the other to make gloves and boots to get your Armormech up to 220 before you start getting into level 4 materials.
Level 4 Metals and Compounds
You’ll use the last of your Insulating Flux for the first part of this climb and need to collect about 80 Brazing Flux for the rest of it. Unlike previous levels, you won’t use a different kind of Flux in the middle of the climb to the next level. Level 5 and 6 uses a different kind of Flux.
Your first pair of materials you’ll be using is Fibermesh and Bondite. Although you’ll be able to make the cheaper costing belts and gloves afterwards, the first items you’ll be required to make will be the more expensive chest and leg pieces. You’ll require 120 of your primary and 80 of your secondary material.
Resinite and Diatium comes next and thankfully you won’t need quite so many of these. You’ll need about 100 and 60 of these depending on your armor choice. You’ll first focus on boots, then chest pieces.
I'm Using Too Many Materials!
Find you’re eating up materials faster than you can get them? Craft boots and belts instead of chest pieces. They cost less to make, and allow you to slow down your consumption of materials while still making some progress.
Level 5 Metals and Compounds
You’re going to need about 80 Thermoplast Flux to get you all the way up to 400, but you shouldn’t stop there. You’re going to be using a lot of this stuff as you build higher level items and you should get in the habit of keeping a significant supply on hand. You can buy this at a vendor, but the cost is at least four times as expensive as getting it yourself, and if you send your companion off on a Rich Yield mission you can get it for ten times cheaper.
Electrum and Polyplast will be your first materials pair in this stretch of the climb requiring you to have about 80 and 60 of each. You’ll be building items for the wrist, belt, and boot slots till you get to the next set of materials.
Your second pair of materials will be Neutronium and Amorphous Carbonite. You’re going to need 60 and 40 of your primary and secondary material respectively. At this point you’ll be nearly at the finish line and building your last few chest pieces to get to level 400.
Armormech Augment Types
Armormech creates the Absorb, Reflex, Shield, and Skill augments.
Level 6 Materials
This is where you’ll be making your money. You will need to start getting as many level six metals and compounds as you can get. Your primary goal is to make as many belts or boots as possible and get MK-6 slot components, and then making the actual MK-6 Augmentation Kits. Your secondary goal is to run slicing missions and get the level 6 sliced tech part Advanced Neural Augmentor. Once you reverse engineer an augment schematic to the purple level, four of those Augmentors will allow you to craft the augment. At this stage the more companions you have working for you the better, but this strategy will allow you to get to Armormech 400 and allow you to make money on the craft.
All images are from within the game Star Wars The Old Republic or from the swtor.com website